|Foodcrops and shortages
Global Information and Early Warning System on food and agriculture
AFRICA: Despite improved harvest prospects, food supply difficulties persist in eastern Africa with about 18 million people still depending on emergency food assistance. In southern Africa, severe floods in recent months affected some 1 million people in Mozambique, Malawi, Zimbabwe and Zambia, and large numbers need food and other humanitarian assistance. Also, the sub-region's maize production in 2001 is forecast to decline 28 percent from last year. In the Sahel, the food supply situation has tightened in parts of Burkina Faso, Chad and Niger due to reduced harvests last year.
ASIA: In Afghanistan, a harsh winter has exacerbated the serious food crisis caused by two consecutive years of drought and continuing civil conflict. The food supply situation remains precarious in DPR Korea and Mongolia following a harsh winter. In the CIS, following two years of below normal precipitation, harvests in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Tajikistan will depend crucially on good rains in the coming months. Elsewhere, winter wheat prospects are generally unfavourable due to serious drought in India and Pakistan and continued decline in planted area in China.
LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN: In Central America and the Caribbean, crop performance in 2001 will determine the pace of recovery from the string of natural disasters in the past 12 months which included a prolonged dry spell, Hurricane "Keith" and earthquakes. In Mexico, earlier forecasts of wheat production have been revised slightly downwards due to dry weather conditions, while in Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay, a rainy summer has favoured the development of coarse grain crops which are currently being harvested.
EUROPE: The 2001 cereal area in the EC is forecast to be down and production will decline from last year's bumper level. In several central and eastern European countries soil conditions still remain too dry for spring field operations and satisfactory crop development. In the CIS countries in Europe, the outlook for 2001 cereal crops is good, particularly in the Ukraine and the Russian Federation. Larger areas have been sown and winter crops are doing well. Good soil moisture reserves and favourable prices could result in larger spring sowings.
NORTH AMERICA: Wheat output could decline further this year in the United States as winter plantings fell to the lowest since 1971, and spring wheat area is also forecast to fall. Early indications for the coarse grain crops point to smaller maize plantings but an increase in the sorghum area. Rice area is expected to increase by about 4 percent. Wheat and coarse grain plantings could also increase over last year.
OCEANIA: In Australia, an increase is expected in the wheat and barley areas for the 2001 crops. In the Solomon Islands the humanitarian situation of the internally displace persons due to earlier conflict remains a cause for concern. Recent rains have adversely affected crops. Cyclone Paula, which hit Tonga in early March, caused damage to property and infrastructure as well as localized crop losses.